Monday, December 14, 2015

Recipe: Fruit Crumble by Crock-pot

We've had a lot of dinners and potlucks to go to this year. It's no surprise that for the latest potluck (a very happy birthday to our awesome coach, Sheri!!!), we found a really simple recipe that asks for very accessible ingredients and is really straight forward to make--well, almost.

  • 6-8 apples or pears (6 cups or so)
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 cup dried fruit like raisins or cranberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
(here's where I start mixing things up Deb-style)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon*
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 pinches ground ginger
  • dash of allspice
  • Handful of chopped walnuts (or another nut like pecan)

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
(again, I start mixing things up a bit here)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats (quick cooking), plus an extra sprinkle more of oats for good measure
  • 1/8 cup rolled rye
  • 1/8 cup rolled spelt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon*
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 pinches ground ginger
  • dash of allspice
*if you only have cinnamon, that's fine. It's the bare minimum spice the original recipe calls for

  1. Slow-cooker/crockpot
  2. Large mixing bowl (crumble)
  3. Paring knife
  4. Peeler
  5. Cutting board
  6. 2 butter knives or pastry cutter

I took the base recipe from here, and revised it since it's more cooking than baking so I don't have to be as accurate! We made the dish twice; once with pears and the most recent, with apples. I have little experience cooking/baking with fruit, so for the pears, I picked two types: a brown (not Bosc) and a green anjou (I think). With apples, I did a quick search and saw that the more tart/sour apples are best for cooking/desserts; I selected granny smith and macintosh.

Red and green for the season

We peeled the fruit in advance; I did a rough peel because I am a big advocate for eating as much of the food as possible to ensure you get all the micronutrients--which are often found just under the skin. I sprinkled lemon juice over the cut fruit and lightly tossed and put away in the fridge until I was ready to start. The original recipe asks for 6 cups of fruit but does it really matter? As long as I covered the bottom of the crock pot by half, I figured I was good. Then, I added the raisins and spices.

Delicious fruit bottom

Next, mix the fruit until the spices evenly coat the apples and add a sprinkle of raisins on top along with the walnuts; otherwise the small nuts and fruits end up only on the bottom of the mix.

Fruit 'n nuts

Plug your crock pot in and turn it on to a high setting for 30 minutes. Go on to make the crumbly top, by combining all the dry ingredients throughly by ensuring the brown sugar clumps are broken and then cutting the butter into the dry mix.

Cut in that cold butter!

Disclaimer: we had no idea how to "cut in butter" and did it totally wrong and should have checked before attempting it based on our own understanding of what it meant. All I knew was that the butter should be small (how small? I dunno!) pieces in the mix but what exact that looked like... I hadn't the foggiest. And of course +ADW has limited experience with baking so knew less than I did. But both of us were too stubborn to look it up. Combined, we created a melty-greasy-doughy mass. Don't let this happen to you and ensure the butter stays nice and cold and rest it in the freezer/fridge if needed. That said though, our mess didn't ruin things.

Not too bad considering we got it wrong...

When the mix is "crumbly", evenly spread over the fruit in the crock pot and spread a tea towel under the lid to catch the moisture. Slow cook on "low" for 3 hours more, or until the fruit is tender. If you are in a rush and only get in 2 hours, fret not! Bring it with you and continue cooking at your destination and leave it on "warm" when it's done. If you're serving right when it's done, wait 10 minutes and let everything "stand".

Delicious and ready!

The best part? Service warm with vanilla ice cream.


  1. Replies
    1. the apple version is just as (or maybe more) good! yes, that didn't make grammatical sense but you know what i mean!! try it out yourself!